12x18 soft pastels on Kitty Wallace white
by Miki Willa
We returned from our seven week adventure last Friday and I have spent the week getting used to being home. During the week, I have been pondering this blog and where I want to go with it. I started out doing a painting a day and the blog helped me to stay focused on that project. This summer, on the road, I was exploring plein air painting and how I would adapt to it. I have learned several things.
First - I am a studio painter. I am very glad for the opportunity to paint on location and learn new ways of seeing things. I know it will help me enormously in the studio. I learned a great deal from Richard McKinley about translating what I see onto paper to help others see it, also. I have a long way to go, but I will keep at it.
Second - Doing a painting a day was very good for me to learn to control my medium. When I started out, I had a heavy hand. All my strokes were way to heavy. I am pleased to say, I am getting better at varying my pressure and strokes. That being said, I still have trouble with tree trunks. I have to work on that.
Third - I want to work on larger, more in depth paintings for a while. This means that I won't have a painting a day to post on the blog. I also want to do some artist studies. I have become very enamored of Andrew Wyeth and Winslow Homer of late. Do I post only my finished paintings as they are done, or do I take the blog in a new direction to share what I am studying and learning? I am not sure yet. For the time being, I will post some of the paintings I did on the trip that I have not already shared.
To that end, today's painting was done in studio while in Virginia. We spent a lovely weekend in Syria, Virginia in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. On the way in to Syria is the small town of Crieglersville. As we drove past it, I came upon this scene and knew it had to be painted. It was early fall and the trees were just beginning to turn. I am a complete sucker for these pastoral scenes. They bring me so much peace.
I am glad to be back and hope to figure out my new directions very soon.